Living in Madrid

Fun Facts about Daily Life in Spain!

Food and Health

There's a reason Spaniards have the highest life expectancy in Europe!


The abundance of fresh vegetables, meat, and fish in local markets, combined with traditional tapas will keep you nice and full as you enjoy Spain's excellent wines. You will soon learn that you never receive a drink without a snack! It all makes for the perfect Mediterranean lifestyle.

Whether you're crazy for cooking, or a foodie who loves to go out, Madrid is the city for you! Enjoy the immensely rich variety of regional Spanish gastronomy as well outstanding international food! You won't be surprised that Spain has the most Michelin stars per capita in Europe!

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Spanish tapas

Transport and Travel

Madrid is one of the best connected capitals in the world.


The public transportation options, (including metro, buses, light rail, and urban trains), are excellent. There are cheap direct flights linking the city to the rest of Europe and beyond.

The opportunities to explore are endless! Madrid's public transport offers a monthly travel card, called the Abono, which serves as an all access pass to the city! To sign up and discover more about metro/bus lines, follow the easy instructions on our blog!

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Travel in Madrid

Travel with AIL

AIL Madrid also offers great deals on multi-location trips around Spain.


Including visits to the Costa del Sol (some of the best beaches in the world!), The Basque Country (the most famous seafood in the world!), Barcelona (needs no introduction!), olive country (classic Mediterranean landscape!), and more!

Sign up for one of our Spanish courses, and then head off into this unique country, fully equipped to enjoy everything it has to offer!

See the full list of trips
Students travelling around Spain


Madrid is one of the top two safest capitals in Europe, second only to Vienna.


What does this mean? You'll feel immediately at home among the population of 3.2 million people, day or night, with only the occasional pick-pocket to worry about.

In comparison to non-European countries, violent crimes are almost non-existent and safety measures are increased and reviewed each year, ensuring that the statistics only continue to improve.

See the Madrid Safety Statistics
Police in Madrid

Laws and Customs

To make the most of your nights out in Madrid and to stay out of trouble, here are the top two things you should know:


Drinking in the streets is illegal (though still quite popular, and known as the botellon), as is smoking indoors.

Meal times are a little later than you might be used to, with lunch around 14:00-15:00 and dinner usually starting around 22:00.

These little quirks are quite easy to adapt to though, especially once you’ve experienced the warmth and friendliness of the Spanish people.

Show me the Spanish way of life
Spanish Laws and Customs

Cost of Living

You're in luck! Madrid is a very reasonable, affordable city to visit or live in.


For easy comparison: the cost of living is roughly 38% lower than in NYC or London, and 20% lower than in Paris or Rome.

Average monthly expenses for one person come in around €650, including housing, groceries, and transportation.

This may go up slightly if you’re dying to visit its fantastic variety of bars and restaurants, but it is still much lower than almost anywhere else in Europe!

A terrace in Madrid

Public Holidays and Festivals

One of the greatest things about living in Madrid is the huge number of public holidays and local festivals.


A few of the city’s most notable holidays include: the Día de los Reyes (January 6th), Semana Santa (middle of April), San Isidro (middle of May), Gay Pride week (July, the second largest in the world!), and the Día de la Paloma (August).

The Spanish national holiday falls on the 12th of October, but there are loads more special days that fall in between the big ones, so visit our calendar for details!

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The lively Plaza Matadero

Madrid Facts



... has a sunny, dry climate

... is located 667 meters above sea level

... has a population of 3.2 million people

... is the world capital of Tapas!

... is home to the world's most successful football team, Real Madrid

... is renowned for its accessibly neutral, and correctly spoken Spanish

Celebrations in Madrid